Gratitude: April 2013

As many days as possible, I list six distinct things for which I’m grateful. The list is archived monthly. Here’s April 2013.


I’m grateful for the funds that allow me to book a trip back east. Lots of wonderful people to see. Plans to look forward to. A change in schedule that allowed me to work on writing some more. Safe freeway driving. Cole’s spicy garlic fries.

I’m grateful that I didn’t spontaneously get a tattoo yesterday. For some quiet time with Excel. Doable tasks. Marion Roach Smith’s book on writing. Her instructions on structure. The gem to help me edit & rewrite, “To understand the piece, you need no more characterization of me than what’s there.”

I’m grateful I arrived on time to at least one place on the day’s agenda. Hug greetings. Screening a great new movie. Feeling free with compliments. The reminder of his inflection. Louis C.K..

I’m grateful that I spent time getting caught up on one project. Deciding this will be a reading week. A quiet moment in our home library where I found several critically acclaimed memoirs I’ve never read. Butternut squash soup for lunch. Knowing the weekend is coming soon. Getting through a bad mood without doing too much damage.

I’m grateful for my new scarf. A short productive meeting. A breakfast break for the team. A full day of focused collaborative work. Having a usable and salvaging idea. Mexican folk art in the dining room.

I’m grateful for ice cubes. Lemons. Joan Didion. Purple flowers and sweaters. The moment when he toasted to, “Purple.” All the kisses that followed.

I’m grateful for paper towels. Andy’s help with messy Ruby. Laughter in our home. The creators of Mad Men. Chop sticks. Baked Cheetos.

I’m grateful for hotel reservations. At least one conference to apply to. Making it to a late lunch before the NCAA fans arrived. Shelter from the wind. A new burger to taste. Denial.

I’m grateful for works in progress. The support of friends. My therapist. Fun software. Being able to answer questions. Coming home to my family.

I’m grateful for a new writing class. Cheerful acquaintances. Universities. Beautiful dining rooms. Finishing reading the book where I once sat with him. Memories.

I’m grateful to be able to receive course handouts online. My relaxed schedule. Time to have a business call in the car. Cell phones. Pajamas. My favorite writing pens.

I’m grateful for time to browse in a fun boutique after our meeting. The Greek cafe that serves breakfast all day. Working independently. Lemon cake. Friday nights. Sunlight hours into the evening.

I’m grateful for the relative ease getting Ellie into her carrier. Getting her annual check up behind us. Dr. Yuen. Having the financial resources to take care of our babies. That there are veterinarians. Kitties!

I’m grateful for being able to choose my next big project. Getting caught up on my bookkeeping. Helpful & sensitive coaching from my writing teacher. Walking to a dinner spot outside of my usual habit. Observing potential characters. My backpack.

I’m grateful I decided to put down the Karr book in favor of a text on writing by Barbara Abercrombie. Time for one more day of consideration before making a decision. A safe drive downtown. That there wasn’t a Dodger crowd where I ate dinner. That the social media conflict didn’t escalate. Kind notes from L.

I’m grateful I decided on my own (before therapy) to transfer from the memoir writing class to a FICTION writing class. Time to pick up the text book. Time to read the first short story assignment. Time to do the first writing exercise. Time to take a walk. Time.

I’m grateful for the way the first session of my new writing class validated my decision to move from non-fiction to fiction. Having a new understanding of what I really want to do. Being in a small class. A surprising free write exercise. That I went to the Hammer (even though it wasn’t free museum day) and saw the Llyn Foulkes retrospective (wow!). A relaxing lunch afterwards.

I’m grateful for being able to sunbathe privately. Having time to study and read. Being able to afford bags of food we’ll enjoy. The company of our cats. Good walking shoes. Access to research about my characters.

I’m grateful for Bret Anthony Johnston’s definition of plot. Some unnamed characters coming into focus. Being able to easily put the blog elements back after the lame CISPA black out. Wikileaks. Being told I look refreshed. Another influx of cool weather.

I’m grateful for 90 minutes to write before class. Google searches for 20th century British cookbooks, and South African towns w/ demographic statistics. Finding I have empathy for the antagonist (the one I’m writing). Seeing a really lame performance of Hamlet to prove to me how amazing the Hamlet I saw last year was. Andy’s reaction to the question. Sofa cushions.

I’m grateful for fun practicing drawing letters with serifs. Time to read my class text book. Safe driving. Airplanes. Cat stories. Running into kind acquaintances.

I’m grateful for working with understanding people. Breakfast sandwiches. Hot coffee. My new slacks. The end of the bookkeeping workday. The end of a bookkeeping workweek.

I’m grateful for time to draw Bodini letters without having to rationalize doing so. Hours to work on a piece. Time to walk. Music on my iPhone. Hearing about the Pen USA Emerging Voices Fellowship. That I’m eligible to apply.

I’m grateful for the pain I feel when I think about quitting writing. The hoodie keeping me warm. Finishing reading another memoir. Anne Lamott. Books within arms’ reach. Deadlines.

I’m grateful I finally decided on one story and got three hours start on the rewrite. Greenpeace. Taking the time to stop and join. That cool artist who likes to share music with me. Songs so sad you need to turn them off. Safe freeway driving.

I’m grateful for wrap crews and wrap books. PO Logs. Puzzles. Cross referencing. Big paperclips. Spending 8:30pm to 2:30am finishing up the rewrite.

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